Seoul, South Korea — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US would consider military action against North Korea if it was provoked.
Speaking a joint press conference with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Tillerson says Washington’s policy of “strategic patience” has ended.
“Obviously if North Korea takes actions that threatens the South Korean forces or our own forces, then that would be met with an appropriate response,” Tillerson says.
The Secretary of State is on a three-country tour of the region amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula following recent North Korea missile launches and fears it’s preparing for another nuclear test.
In Tokyo Thursday, the new Secretary of State said that efforts over the past 20 years to prevent a nuclear North Korea had failed.
He says it is time for a new policy on North Korea, but released no details. It is clear that he sees Beijing, where he will fly to Saturday, as a key part of Washington’s new approach.
A senior Chinese official says that Beijing plans to present its own plan to Tillerson during his visit.